In 2007 I had moved to Brisbane, Australia from Cape Town, South Africa with my now husband.
Moving to a new country can be an exciting time and scary at the same time. When I moved to Australia I worked in a retail store as a store manager. I was excited to start my new job but at the same time I was adjusting to my position, planning a wedding and I had a bun in the oven. I was expecting my son. Needless to say at 23 years old I felt overwhelmed, new country, new job, planning a wedding, pregnant and feeling isolated and alone at times with all my family back home in Cape Town. My husband was such a rock and support system for me, he would see my tears, frustration and the struggle I had at times adjusting to my new home. Not to mention the long and tedious process to acquiring my Australian visa and citizenship, truth be told at times the visa process had taken it’s toll on both myself and my husband. Having said that I fully respect the process and it was worth it. I know it had to be done and I was truly grateful when the process was over, what a milestone receiving my Australian citizenship.
There were a few challenges that were so overwhelming that had me lying in bed not wanting to get up. I felt like John Doe, I had to apply for my drivers license and had to depend on my husband to drive me around. I had to establish financial credibility, adapt to my new surroundings and establish new relationships. This whole experience was a game changer for me as I was always independent, not having to rely on anyone.
I realized that establishing new relationships was the hardest hurdle of all. When you are new to a country, finding your tribe can become challenging as most people have their groups or communities already established. These connections are often formed through going to the same school or university or growing up in the same neighbourhood or working at the same workplace for many years.
I have learnt first hand what loneliness and isolation feels like. It’s one thing to be surrounded by people it’s another to establish a deep and meaningful connection with people around you. I struggled at times I had my husband who was such a source of comfort for me during this time but I still longed for a support system around me. I had my gorgeous son who was such a beautiful addition to our family. During my motherhood journey I felt like the loneliness and isolation at times was a challenge. Being a first time mum there are things you battle and struggle with. I remember being on the phone with my mother in South Africa, asking her questions about motherhood and how to navigate different situations. My mother was my remote support system and I could not thank her enough. I discovered the importance of having a support system. We often take for granted the importance of surrounding ourselves with people who are a form support during good times and bad. I realized the importance of my mental wellbeing and taking care of my mental health. At times my mental sanity had been tested beyond its limits. I had a choice to get back up again and establish myself in a foreign country. I had the capacity to build a life for my family and myself no matter where I had found myself in the world.
I embarked on a journey of building a new life with my family in a new place. I had to get my mental focus back again. Most importantly I had to rediscover who I was in a space that was unfamiliar to me. I remember searching through the Internet looking for a life coach. I felt lost and unclear as to how to establish myself in new territory. The one thing I have noticed during this experience was that we often define ourselves by the known, the external titles and who we think we are in our comfort zones. When we are taken out of our known path, we no longer have titles by which we define ourselves; this often can lead to feeling lost, a sense of loss that can be vulnerable and soul shaking.
Having worked with a life coach and spiritual teacher over the years has helped me get clear about who I am and what I want. I realized that I was so much stronger than I thought I was and that I enjoy learning and growing. I have learnt that in life “change” is a given, we can’t run or hide from our lives changing. What we can do to help adapt our lives to hurdles, challenges and life altering events is to build a strong relationship with ourselves.
Since moving to Australia in 2007, I had my beautiful son and got married in 2008. I had followed my path and passion helping people to feel good about themselves and uplifted by creating my podcast show The Desmore Chats With podcast on Desmore Media. Pitched a television idea to a community based television station which was turned into a TV show called Her Untold Story. Worked with a team of amazing women on a radio show and we won a radio award. Interned at B105 radio station. I had the privilege of speaking at events and sharing my story. To this day I am still learning and growing. It is now 2018 and I am 36 years old. At times I feel like I have gained the wisdom and knowledge beyond my years.
I have met incredible souls in Brisbane who I call dear friends and I am learning that every single day is a gift.